We went to the Ritz Carlton Naples a couple of weeks ago to avoid Hurricane Irene. Fairly fresh from a stay at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, I expected another experience of a classic hotel in a good location cutting corners due to the economy. I could not have been more wrong. The beachfront Ritz Carlton Naples impressed in every area.
First, I cannot say enough about the service. It was absolutely impeccable and reminded me a lot of how fancy hotels used to be. They truly anticipated every need and appeared happy to meet it. It was formal without being snobby or even stuffy. The staff was very friendly but not too familiar. The grounds were impeccable, both well-maintained and extremely clean. When my daughter spilled her drink all over her food, table, and fabric chair, they did not miss a beat nor appear the least bit upset. When my sister's infant twins started freaking out, they acted like it happened every day and I think would've helped any way they could. When we knew we wanted ice cream later and the shop was about to close, they let us order the ice cream and pick it up later from the concierge desk. When we did, it was packaged beautifully with a complimentary cookie for the kids. There were many other examples of stellar service during the two nights that I was there.
Second, forget Disney, this is the happiest place on earth. This resort beautifully marries elegance with child friendliness in a very unobtrusive way. Not only do they have totally separate adult-only and family-friendly pools, to the side of the family pool, obscured by foliage and totally gated off, they have an amazing toddler area with little picnic tables, water shooting from the ground like at a water park, and a toddler pool that is not a typical toddler pool but a replica of a real grown-up pool. It was kidney shaped with the little metal rail they have in adult pools to hold while going down the steps. I can't remember seeing my 21 month old as happy as he was in this child area. My 5,8, and 11 year olds spent a lot of time in this area, too, playing with him and also playing in the water shooting from the ground. And, at a time when other resorts are nickel and diming patrons at every opportunity, the family pool has free swim diapers in abundance. I mention this not only because it is excellent policy but also because it really demonstrates how this place operates. Also, the children's menu is engaging (kid activities a cut above normal), and the food choices offer meals beyond just burgers and fries. We ate at the sushi / bar restaurant once, and while my brother in law taught my son pool (there were multiple tables and not many people there), my daughter delighted in her obento box looking meal that had fruit, veg, grilled chicken, and a cookie. Adult food here and at the breakfast restaurant were very fresh and delicious as well.
The resort also has a great kids' club. We didn't have the time to devote to a whole or half day, but when we were at the pool, the kids' club was there for a little bit diving for pretend artifacts or something. The kids were having a great time, and the counselors were engaged and cheerful. We also got to see the amazing facility, as the kids' club (called Nature's Wonder Center) has an open house for an hour each day, and my kids delighted in looking at and learning a bit about the sea turtles, fish, and other creatures that were swimming or crawling in the eleven aquariums they have. They really went all out in the facility, from the areas for downtime down to several computers to the little microscopes and lab coats for the kids.
Last but not least, I loved the view. Just standing on the balcony and looking straight out at that ocean would have been worth the hotel price alone. The whole place was idyllic, and my kids enjoyed it at least as much as Disney. I enjoyed it more and cannot wait to go back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the pristine white sands of Southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, The Ritz-Carlton, Naples is a Five Star, Four Diamond beach resort in Naples, Florida that appeals to today’s sophisticated traveler with an array of pampering amenities. With stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico, the resort offers a variety of innovative dining experiences, a luxurious, 51,000 square-foot world class spa, two heated pools, a high tech entertainment lounge, an interactive environmental children’s program and a wide selection of beach activities and water sports. Only three miles from the beach resort and accessible by a convenient hotel shuttle, the 295-room The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples is available for guest enjoyment and is ranked as the #1 golf resort in Florida by Conde Nast Traveler magazine and as one of the 15 best luxury golf resorts in North America by Golf Digest. The golf resort is home to a pair of 18-hole signature Greg Norman golf courses at Tiburon. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Ritz-Carlton, Naples Hotel Naples
- Naples Ritz Carlton
- Ritz Naples
- Ritz-Carlton Naples